Mountain View Voice

News - October 5, 2012

Traffic deaths spur community meeting

by Daniel DeBolt

In hopes of making their streets safer, residents of the Shoreline West neighborhood are taking action in response to pedestrian fatalities this year on Califronia Street and Shoreline Boulevard.

A meeting is set for October 15 to allow people to share their concerns and experiences with walking and biking in the area west of Shoreline Boulevard and around California Street. Police and public works officials are expected to attend.

"The William Ware incident has sort of galvanized our community," said Tracy Chu, a Shoreline West neighborhood resident. Ware was hit by a speeding car while standing at a bus stop on California Street at Escuela Avenue on the morning of June 21.

"There's lot of lively discussion about this" among neighbors online, she said. "There are people in the neighborhood who want to get involved."

Chu also pointed to two others pedestrian deaths: Joshua Baker was hit and killed on Sept. 15 while crossing California Street, 500 feet west of Shoreline Boulevard and on April 9, Erik Onorato was struck and killed while crossing Shoreline Boulevard just north of Wright Avenue.

Chu says police are working on a request for more data on collisions involving pedestrians that have resulted in injury or death. The hope is that pinpointing dangerous locations could better prioritize traffic improvements to reduce deadly collisions.

"Our goal is to consolidate a lot of these concerns and suggestions from the community and use it as starting point to engage the city and City Council," Chu said. Residents hope to "bring focus to this issue and drive some improvements in risk reduction."

While a similar effort called the Rengstorff Great Streets Initiative has called for some specific measures, such as narrowing California Street from four lanes to three to slow traffic, Chu said the neighborhood is not ready to back any solutions in particular, but adds that there are plenty of ideas.

The meeting will be held Monday, October 15 at 7 p.m. in the Community Center at Rengstorff park.

Email Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

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